Years ago I read Plain and Simple, a sweet little book about a woman who went to live with the Amish in hopes of finding her own inner peace. While the book itself is charming, one thing that really stuck out to me was the fact that one of the Amish families she boarded with only had one small can of trash from an entire family of ten once a week. That was awe inspiring!
Since then, I have tried to find ways to cut our waste -- less packaging, recycling, and such. Today, I had the unpleasant task of hauling away two months of trash and recycling -- built up because we have been so busy managing the fires in our lives that we couldn't get to the dump. We had 10-20 gallon garbage bags and five totes of recycling. Not really bad when you consider how much other folks have.
Here's what we do:
We keep a small bucket in the kitchen for the leavings from salads and baking. This is goes either to the worms to the compost bin. Any food scraps go right to the hens. They love any treats and often greet me at the back door and follow me like the Pied Piper to the coop.
A small metal trash can is kept in the kitchen for recycling. When the can is full, it is taken to porch and the lidded bins. We sort as we go so it is a small task (unless the bins are knocked over) to take to the recycling center and dump each into its proper receptacle.